Basis Points – May 9, 2024

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Stocks Gained Last Week

The markets enjoyed a solid week of gains on the heels of favorable corporate earnings data and a softer-than-expected employment report. Investors could be viewing the dip in job hires and wage growth as the fuel the Federal Reserve needs to consider interest rate cuts. The Fed has consistently maintained that a softening labor market would help drive inflation lower. The Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq led the major benchmark indexes. Ten-year Treasury yields, gold prices and the dollar declined. Crude oil prices slid more than 6.5% amid rising inventories and a push for a Gaza ceasefire.

New Job Growth Slowed in April

There were 175,000 new jobs added in April, lower than the monthly average of 242,000 over the past 12 months. In April, job gains occurred in health care, social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing. The change in employment for February was revised down by 34,000, from 270,000 to 236,000, and the change for March was revised up by 12,000, from 303,000 to 315,000. With these revisions, employment in February and March combined was 22,000 lower than previously reported. In April, the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 3.9%. The number of unemployed was little changed, at 6.5 million.

Eye on the Week Ahead

It is a very slow week for economic data, with only the Treasury budget statement for April available. Investors will be looking ahead to next week when the latest inflation data is released.

The information contained herein represents the views of Westwood Wealth Management at a specific point in time and is based on information believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty is made concerning the accuracy or completeness of any data compiled herein. Any statements non-factual in nature constitute only current opinion, which is subject to change. Any statements concerning financial market trends are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All information provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell or otherwise invest in any of the securities/sectors/countries that may be mentioned.